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Self-Loathing

Definition:

Self-Loathing - An extreme hatred of one's own self, actions or one's ethnic or demographic background.

Their own worst critic

Self-Loathing, also known as “Autophobia” or “Self-Hatred”, is a thought pattern where individuals believe they are inferior, bad, worthless, unlovable, or incompetent.

Self-Loathing is one of the central characteristics of people who suffer from Avoidant Personality Disorder and is also a common occurrence among other Personality Disorders – particularly Borderline Personality Disorder. It is also sometimes linked to self-harm and suicidal behaviors.

Sometimes this way of thinking is also described in less stern terms as a “lack of self-esteem” or “stinking thinking”.

There are two common categories of Self-Loathing

  1. Hatred of one’s own self, actions and characteristics; and
  2. Rejection of one’s demographic origin - such as ethnic origin, religious orientation, nationality, gender or sexual orientation.

This destructive form of self-perception is not only common in certain Personality Disorders, it is also common among people who grew up in an unsupportive family environment and endured child abuse, neglect, emotional trauma or chronic criticism.

Symptoms of self-loathing include chemical dependency, alcohol and drug abuse, self-harm, self-destructive promiscuity, fits of rage and Dissociation.

The feeling may be intermittent, and it may be suddenly triggered by disappointments, struggles, painful memories or anxiety about the future. These triggers can create an overwhelming flood of feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness and powerlessness which can lead to self-destructive behaviors, emotional withdrawal or aggressive behaviors towards loved ones and family members.

What it Looks Like

  • “Nobody loves me”
  • “Things will never get any better.”
  • “I’m useless. I always screw everything up.”
  • “He/she could never really love the real me.”

Related Personality Disorders:

Borderline, Histrionic, Narcissistic, Avoidant


For More Information & Support...

If you suspect you may have a family member or loved-one who suffers from a personality disorder, we encourage you to learn all you can and surround yourself with support as you learn how to cope.

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